Earlier this month, representatives from Canon U.S.A. dropped by Mark Forman’s Chelsea HD Screening Room to allow a hands-on sneak peak of the soon to ship Canon EOS 7D digital SLR.
For the presentation, I joined Mark along with DP/producer David Leitner. Earlier this year, those two had worked on running the EOS 5D Mark II–the camera makers first HD-capable DSLR–through a series of HD video tests, which you can find reviewed here.
With a list price of $1699 (body only), the 7D features an APS-C size sensor and costs some $1000 less than its big brother, the full-frame 5D. That smaller sensor means users will also save when buying into Canon’s range of EF-S lenses (designed for APS-C sensors), although the standard size EF lenses also fit. The 18-megapixel 7D has great low light capability–the ISO range expands to a fast 12800 rating–while dual DIGIC 4 processors help speed image processing, including continuous shooting at 8 fps and HD video recording at 1920 x 1080P at 24-, 25-, and 30 fps.
The camera effectively takes on Nikon D300 and newer D300s, which have up to now dominated the mid-range market. The level of HD quality the 7D delivers, even when compared to the 5D, struck all three of us as some of the best ever out of a DSLR.
Check out the casual 24p footage done later that afternoon by Mark and David by clicking here.
Please note this was shot using a Beta prototype of the Canon 7D, with some added image compression resulting from the ISP’s setup. Even so, each of us–long-time followers of HD development–feel a little astonished about how quickly quality HD video is becoming standard in the DSLR market. Tip ‘o the hat to Canon’s Len Musmeci for setting up this chance to test Canon’s latest.
Canon’s Lisette Ranga points out the helpful diagrams now integrated into the setup screen that allow quick, error-free assignments of 7D’s soft keys.
Here’s a close-up of the 7D’s straightforward setup for creating soft keys.
Mark Forman attaches the 7D to his Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS lens. Since the 400mm employs a 1.4x Extender and the APS-C sensor creates a 1.6x multiplier effect (compared to full-frame), the setup yields a sky telescope worthy 896mm equivalent focal length.